Rotherham United: Rival Rochdale boss faced fans

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IT might not be feasible at every club, and would certainly be pretty time-consuming at most, but Rochdale manager John Coleman certainly came up with a fairly novel idea in a bid to appease angry fans and offer them an explanation.

Coleman, whose side entertain Rotherham United this afternoon, invited fans to meet him. And they did. Some even got one-on-ones. Others were in small groups and all in the boardroom.

It was a rather remarkable approach and, of its type, probably unique in manager-fan relationships.

It all stemmed from the former Accrington manager speaking to a fan who was berating him as he left the dugout after a home game which Rochdale had lost. He invited the fan to make an appointment to see him. Coleman then thought he’d invite other fans who had been airing their concerns.

In the end, he saw about 30 in all and the manager/fan conversations lasted, in all, over four hours.

“It went well,” said Coleman before adding, interestingly, “there was a bit of a reality check for some of them.”

It was a year ago that Coleman finally moved on from Accrington Stanley, after 13 years in charge in which he took them up through the leagues and back into the Football League.

He couldn’t prevent Rochdale being relegated from League One last season and they were expected to be among the front runners this time.

Their away form has been promotion form but their results at Spotland no better than mid-table. Rotherham got a taste of that away form because Dale were the first side to win in the league at the New York Stadium when coming from behind for a 3-2 success in September.

They also showed what they are capable of with their 4-2 win at Bradford City on Saturday with a stunning goal from 22-year-old midfielder Andrew Tutte who was outstanding at the New York Stadium.

Certainly Rochdale games haven’t been short of goals recently both for and against and in a stats table so beloved by many nowadays, whether seemingly pointless or not, the two teams who have had the most shots in League Two this season are Rochdale (339) and Rotherham (323).

Get some on target today and there could be goals then!